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New Deal to become ‘permanent’, says Chancellor


An Employment Opportunities Fund worth £875 million in 2001-02 increasing to £1.4 billion in 2003-04 will make the New Deal a permanent deal, the Chancellor Gordon Brown announced yesterday, as part of the cross-departmental review of Welfare to Work and ONE.

The Employment Opportunities Fund includes remaining Windfall Tax receipts and additional resources. Lower unemployment, reflecting the success of the New Deal, means that the Windfall Tax will continue funding the New Deal well into the next Parliament.

This ensures that successful initiatives including the New Deal 18-24 will continue to be funded into the future. The review also introduces new measures which will help to realise the Government's aim of employment opportunity for all, matching rights with responsibilities.

Measures include:

an enhanced New Deal 25 plus to be introduced from April 2001, as set out in Budget 2000;

the expansion of the new ONE service - integrating employment and benefit advice;

the national extension of the New Deal for Disabled People, with measures to help disabled people who want to work to find and remain in employment; and

increased start up funding to help create childcare provision, targeted towards disadvantaged areas.

Welcoming the outcome of the review, David Blunkett, Secretary of State for Education and Employment said:

"These measures build on the success of the New Deal, which has already helped 216,000 young people into work and which has been independently assessed as largely paying for itself through reduced benefit payments and extra tax revenue. They will help deliver employment opportunity for all - the modern definition of full employment.

"We have seen considerable success - unemployment is at a 20 year low and there are more people in work than ever before. But there remains much to be done, more than one in six working-age households have no-one in work. Today we announce measures to help deliver work for those who can, and security for those who cannot."

The National Childcare Strategy will benefit from significant extra investment. This includes new funds to kick start provision in disadvantaged areas and provide grants and support for new childminders. There is also a business support package, to encourage the emergence and development of childcare businesses.


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